Mack’s Morning Report - 5-15-15 – June Draft, 3 Fastballs, May, Draft Shortstops


Good morning.

I had planned to write about much more this morning, but the Chicago series took the starch out of me, so let's just press on together...

We’re getting closer every day to the June draft. The Mets pick #53, #88, #119, #149, and then every 30th pick through the 40th round.

Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs spelled it out pretty simply:

I’ve written many times in the past eight months that this draft class is pretty weak and that, combined with the bonus pools that limit each team’s draft spending, will make for an unpredictable draft day filled with below-slot deals.

My guess is that the Mets are going to target high school players rather than the high cost of college juniors. They are dead last (30th) in bonus pool money, at $3,587,800 for all 39 picks.

Some perfect examples of the kind of guys that Sandy & Company could choose are:

          2011 21st round pick – P John Gant – Wiregrass Ranch (FL) HS
2012 12th round pick – P Rob Whelan – Haines City (FL) H.S.
2013 10th round pick – SS Luis Guillorme – Coral Springs (FL) HS
2014 – 3rd round pick – SS Milton Ramos – American Heritage (FL) HS

Jeff Sullivan wrote in his weekly http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jeff-sullivan-fangraphs-chat-5815/ about how future young pitchers may turn to using three different fastballs as their arsenal:

I think, generally, a young pitcher just thinks of a fastball as a fastball, and when you have a live arm all you care about is velocity and blowing the ball right by guys. Lesser velocity forces creativity. Pitchers come up being told they need 3 or 4 pitches, and they think of the fastball as 1. In truth, it can be 2, or 3. But I don’t think fastballs are used with sufficient versatility with younger guys

I really do think this could be part of the next wave. You take a talented young arm, you teach him how to throw a four-seamer and a two-seamer, and you teach him that he doesn’t have to go 100% with every delivery. Say a guy can top out at 97. Have him throw a four-seamer at 94 and a two-seamer at 91. That guy can be successful, with even mediocre secondary stuff

        Mack – Sully seems to be touching on something very important here.

        We know that deception is the key to success when it comes to major league pitching. Starters need at least three effective pitchers to keep the opponent batter confused. Relievers need two.

And then there was Mariano Rivera. Was that one pitch or one pitch with five or six endings?

Nobody on the Mets seems to be mixing up fastball speeds better than Bartolo Colon is doing this year and, if you can throw three or four pitchers, in an eight to 10 mile per hour range… and all using the same arm and release angle… well, you will be a success at this game.

Forget teaching your nephews or grandchildren how to throw a curve. Get them to work on their fast ball with different speeds. Trust me. This is going to be the future of this game.

May – There are 16 more games to play in May… 13 are at CitiField… a three game series at home begins tonight vs. the Brewers, then four at home vs. the Cardinals, three away in the Steel City, three back home against the Phillies, and lastly, three vs. the Marlins.

          The Marlins and Pirates represent two teams that the Mets could be battling all season to stay ahead of for a wild card slot, so it is vitally important for the Mets to, at least, win these two series. I’ve already conceded the NL-Central title to the Cards and I’ve written off both the Phillies and Brewers as either pennant or wild card contenders.

          The Nats seem far more tested… 14 games of which nine are away… three in San Diego, two at home against the Yankees, them three more at home against the Phillies followed by six road games against the Cubs and Reds.

          Atlanta has 16 more games in May of which only six (Tampa Bay – 2x, Milwaukee – 4x) are at home. The rest (3x Marlins, 3x Dodgers, 4x Giants) are away.

          And lastly (because who really cares how many games the Phillies have left), Miami has 16 games left, 10 of which (3x – Braves, 4x Arizona, 3x Baltimore) are at home. The six away games are three against both the Pirates and the Mets.

Matt Garrioch http://www.minorleagueball.com/2015/5/10/8576317/2015-mlb-draft-shortstops listed the following players as the top shortstops available in the 2015 draft:

Brendan Rodgers HS    HS    Florida State
Alex Bregman      College       JR     Louisiana State
Dansby Swanson College       JR     Vanderbilt
Kyler Murray        HS    HS    Texas A&M
Ryan Mountcastle          HS    HS    UCF
Kevin Newman     College       JR     Arizona
Jalen Miller               HS         HS    Clemson
Richie Martin       College       JR     Florida
Nick Shumpert     HS    HS    Kentucky
John Aiello HS    HS    Wake Forest
Mikey White         College       JR     Alabama
Kyle Holder          College                  San Diego
Cadyn Grenier     HS    HS    Oregon State
Kody Clemens      HS    HS    Texas
C.J. Hinojosa       College       JR     Texas
John Cresto              HS         HS    Santa Clara
Travis Blankenhorn      HS    HS    Kentucky
Jose Vizcaino       College       JR     Santa Clara
Blake Trahan      College       JR     Louisiana-Lafayette
Brendon Davis     HS    HS    Cal State Fullerton
Kyle Datres           HS    HS    North Carolina
Daniel Pinero       College       SO     Virginia
Kevin Kramer       College       SR     UCLA
Drew Jackson      College       JR     Stanford
David Fletcher     College       SO     Loyola Marymount

We’ve just written this past weekend about the deep talent the Mets have, at this position, in their organization. Should the Mets continue to draft some of these guys until they get it right or should they turn to the other eight positions every team puts on the field?

For those of you like me that are always looking for a way to get Troy Tulowitzki on this team, we may be getting close to when Colorado starts considering cleaning house again. They already are dead last in their division and what a perfect time this would be to offer them 3-4 lower level prospects (from a pool of Amed Rosario, Luis Guillorme, Milton Ramos, Casey Meisner, Brandon Nimmo, Rob Whelan)

Travis de'Arnaud on Jacob deGrom: - 

      Jake is one of the most laid back guys you'll ever meet. I asked him about his           honeymoon this off-season and he tells me he did nothing. And I belive him. He      probably did nothing."

This was written by Chris Mitchell the morning before Noah Syndergaard’s debut in Chicago:

Pretty much any way you slice it, Syndergaard’s future looks bright. His 6-5 frame and excellent stuff are enough to get scouts on board, and he has the minor-league track record to back up his physical gifts. Plus, based on his utter dominance in his five Triple-A starts this year — he’s pitched to a 1.82 ERA with a 30% strikeout rate — he looks more than ready to contribute right now. Steamer anticipates a 3.50 ERA for Syndergaard for the remainder of the season, which is a better forecast than every Mets starter not named Matt Harvey. Based on his minor-league performance, Syndergaard will almost certainly help the Mets in 2015; and barring injury, he stands a good chance of holding down a spot in their rotation for years to come.

I agree with Chris. I don’t think that Syndergaard is going anywhere.




Ernest Dove said...

Does anybody know yet if marcos molina is gonna have inevitible TJS now?

Christopher Soto said...


What makes you say that?

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Ernest, I don't see why it has to be inevitable. I think Mack makes a good point on multiple fastballs, like what Colon throws. It is not just change of speed with Colon, it is the movement he gets, that changes based on what he wants the ball to do.

It is why I suggested that the video from one of the last masterful Colon starts be given to every Met prospect pitcher...study the master. Less breaking balls, and less maxed out velocity, and a lot of these guys like Molina might stay healthy far longer.

No one size fits all, but Colon is blazing a new path.

Lots of home games should help, but will Wright be back to help in any of them? I love Herrera, but the youngest guy in the NL likely would be better served playing another 40 games in AAA. I frankly would prefer that Wright never try to steal another base, unless it is crucial for the playoffs.

After Thor's hitting exhibition in his last AAA start, it is one more reason to keep him (certainly not the main one). He'll surely win some games along the way with his bat.

Ernest Dove said...


Twitterville a buzz last night about a Molina injury shutdown......

Brian Joura said...

Everything old is new again.

It's always been about changing speeds and changing location. There are other areas to attack hitters besides low and away, especially now that there's a fighting chance for the pitcher to get a called strike above the belt.

If we don't sign Cuddyer, we don't have the fewest amount of dollars available to us. I'm not upset that we have the fewest pool dollars - I'm upset that we went all-in for Cuddyer.

I've never been a fan of saving money in the first round to spend in later rounds. That's how we miss out on the Lucas Giolito's of the world.

Last year was the first time we didn't go below slot with our first round pick. We signed Conforto to a slot-level deal. If we had a first-round pick this year, and signed that guy to a slot-level deal -- we'd have the same amount of bonus pool dollars available. So, I don't get the hand-wringing in some corners.

If memory serves, Ramos signed an above-slot deal.

Reese Kaplan said...

OK, I"ll talk about the elephant in the room.

It's all over the media how Terry Collins is saying the reason for the demise is that the veterans haven't stepped up.

How about, "I refuse to use anyone new or change anyone's role" or "I think resting multiple veterans on the same day is the way to get them going" or "I think fundamentals like hit & run or bunting are for sissies" or "Let me bury the hottest hitters from AAA on the bench until they grow cold".

Look, the veterans aren't doing what they're being paid to do with the bats. The younger players aren't necessarily getting it done either. At what point do you think that trying something new might be worth a shot?

Is it written in stone that your $16 million man has to hit leadoff? Is it in his contract that the $11 million man hitting .233 must hit cleanup? Why is it that the guy leading the team in HRs was banished to 8th until a week or so ago? Is it more important for Duda to hit lefties or drive in runs?

Hey, I'm as frustrated as anyone with the way things are going, but true leaders say, "It's on me to right the ship" -- they don't cast blame.

Thomas Brennan said...

We are all frustrated...but Johnny Monell starts tonight, so I am happy. Yes, Recker homered twice yesterday. My guess is that is it for him until July.

Let's hope Molina is not hurt, especially as in Tommy John hurt - I'm not a tweeter, so I missed the tweet frenzy - but that would be sad.

Thomas Brennan said...

You want to blame someone, start with the 32 year old guy who thought he was 22, played reckelssly for an aging guy, pulled a hammy unnecessarily, and has missed 27 games and counting.

Give Terry Collins a healthy D Wright all year and the narrative would be very different.

eraff said...

Thomas, it's hard to say this in a respectful way.... you're criticizing David Wright for PLAYING BASEBALL!!!

If he's that fragile, it's sad. Sliding, Running...they're all part of the game. If THAT'S reckless.... well, I don't know what to say.

You sound like an old grandma who wants to wrap her little Bunchkins in bubble wrap---it's silly!!!

I'm not trying to flame you...it's just that you've posted this comment multiple times---seems like every day!!!

Mack Ade said...


I was not online last night so the Molina news is new to me.

Reese, I honestly can't keep up with you :)

So, if the regulars (veterans) are played, then the subs don't get off the bench and that's wrong... but if the regulars get rest and the subs get at bats, that's wrong too?

Reese, TC didn't throw the errant throw from shortstop or the wild pitch...

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I also am very frustrated with the length of time it has taken for David Wright to return from (now) a bad back. but I would never criticize him for sliding into a base trying to put his team in a better position.

He's the leader of this team. Leader's lead, even if it's to the disabled list.

Reese Kaplan said...

It's simple, really, Mack...substitute some players who are not performing for ones that might...but don't bench 3 or more starters on the same night.

Also, if someone is not getting it done but you want him in the lineup anyway, then move him to a position where he'll not kill rallies instead of 4th or 5th.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

So, right now, your 1-2-3 would be Granderson, Murphy, Duda?

Mack Ade said...

Everyone -



(no, I'm not eating the mushrooms again...)


Mack Ade said...

Everyone -

Due to injuries (and I have to keep reminding all of you and myself that Wright, d'Arnaud, Lagares... 3 key starters... have been out) this team has become far less talented than they were when the season started.

The reserves (Plawecki, Nieuwenhuis, Campbell, Mayberry) have not stepped up and filled the role left opened by the injured players.

And the system has run out of quality players sitting around the telephone in Las Vegas waiting for their turn to become a star.

You couple this with the two most glaring problems this team had going into this season... Murphy and Flores are still horrible infielders that cost this team more games than they win with their bats.

The problem is you have to keep playing all these guys. You have no other quality players to add to the lineup. Your next big 'acquisitions' will be guys coming off your own DL.

I tell you one thing... someone better throw a chair or two or one of our starters is going to grab the mic of a beat reporter and let it be known publicly what they are all feeling privately right now...

Christopher Soto said...


The Blogger system is trying to weed out more spamming so they implemented these picture Captchas.

Nothing from our end that we can do systematically.

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

what you can do is...

1. type in your response

2. DO NOT check the 'I'm not a Robot' box

3. go down and click on 'PREVIEW"


Christopher Soto said...

lol clever clever Mr. Mack.

That's a nice end user way of getting around it.

Dallas said...

The good news is that most of our losses have been by just a run or two. This means our DL guys can make a difference when they pop back in. I'm trying to be optimistic but its hard. Its certainly more difficult to invest 3 hours of my day watching games with the way the Cubs series went down and how they have played the last few weeks. They took 2 of 3 from Philly but they are also one of the worst teams in baseball.

Mack Ade said...

Dallas -

At times like this I'm happy not to have the games available to me in my South Carolina home.

I would like one change until the injuries are healed.

We all know ow happy we have been with the results of the first six innings of each game. The Mets have been in the lead for the majority of them (or down by a run).

After six innings...

1. Have a team meeting with your starters and explain this to them so no one freaks out with your plan.

2. get a RHRP and a LHRP warming up in the pen

3. Get your best defensive infield in the game... Herrera at 2B, Tejada at SS, Muno at 3B (call up Muno and send down one of your Robles)

4. Put Kirk in LF in place of Cuddyer

5. Put Recker behind the plate

I'm telling you... you will win more games this way

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Mack

I like idea of defensive switches.

@ eraff

I know I sound like Grandma, but this is a tough game to play, and hard plays to some extent are unavoidable. What I want Wright to do is differentiate. Robbie Cano would be called a lazy player but he wouldn't pull a leg muscle on an obvious out running to first.

If wright got hurt on a bang-bang play at theplate as the tying runner,I won't say don't do it. Game's on the line.

But if you're up 6-0 and a guy rips it down the 3rd base line, DON'T dive. If youre up 3-0 and you're cruising into 2nd on an easy double, stay There...don't bust it to try to stretch a double to a triple and bang up a hand or pull a hammy. STOP trying to steal unless it is critical to winning that game. Because it may make no difference to that game but if you Are a core player like Wright and get hurt and miss 40 games, it kills the season.

Lasre that a repeat is

Steve from Norfolk said...

Defensive substitutions have been few and far between, and when they have occurred, they've usually occurred in the bottom of the 8th.

I have never understood why TC doesn't have somebody warming up when the starter's pitch count is getting high, or when we are in a close game after the 6th or so. You need to be able to change pitchers ASAP when things go bad, not three or four batters too late.
You're right... just the few changes yo suggest could add a win or two a month, if not more. Of course, Terry would have to change his management style, which may be impossible for him, judging by the past few years. The only way we may see a change in management style is to have a change in management. I'd really be curious to see how Teufel would do, although Bob Geren (yecch)is probably more likely. Can we put Terry on the DL while we try out some alternatives?

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

Starters absolutely hate when relievers get up and start warming up. It completely fucks with their head... unless... you first have a staff meeting and tell them that this has nothing to do with how they have pitched so far... it just is a change of policy that will go into effect immediately

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